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Old June 11, 2019, 10:05 PM   #1
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Mk III Hi Power Dovetail

Not long ago I picked up a 1990 Hi Power. It's been a decent project gun and I enjoy shooting it. One negative I've found for me is the sights. The ones on there now lost their white paint some time ago and with my eyes not what they once were (and they were never good) I'd like to get a fiber optic front with a black rear.

My go to for this is usually Dawson Precision. They sell one black rear sight, and two different fiber optic front sights for the Hi Power:

The front sights differ by the dovetail depth. When I asked Dawson about this I was told this is because the dovetail changed over production (the original and Mk II have a fixed front sight). I tried to get an idea from Dawson about how to best measure the dovetail depth, but I don't think we were communicating on the same wavelength.

Does anyone know more about the dovetail differences on the Mk III, such as when the changes nay have happened? Would measuring the height of the part of the front sight that rides in the dovetail be enough, or is drifting out fully my only option? Does anyone recommend any other sights?


Last edited by TunnelRat; June 11, 2019 at 11:44 PM.
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Old June 11, 2019, 10:50 PM   #2
Bill DeShivs
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Measure from the bottom of the dovetail to the top. It's not rocket surgery.
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Old June 11, 2019, 11:32 PM   #3
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I can't measure it until I drift the sight out fully. Doing so, in my experience, is a royal pain in the butt and can beat up the original sight. Was curious if anyone had other wisdom on when production changes took place, and if all I had to do was drift out the current sight enough to stick calipers on it my life would be a bit easier. Thanks.

Last edited by TunnelRat; June 12, 2019 at 12:08 AM.
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Old June 12, 2019, 05:56 AM   #4
Bartholomew Roberts
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I had a 1991 Israeli Hi-Power that was a MKIII (not the Browning imported MkIIIS) that had a shallow dovetail on it. It was imported with Meprolight night sights already installed. Within less than 2000 rounds it had broken the original Meprolight sight blade and a replacement. A gunsmith cut the notch to the same depth as my 1995 Hi-Power and it has been good ever since.

So on when the production changes occured, I’d guess it happened when they were introducing the MKIII in the early 1990s - although being FN, there is about a 4-5 year transitionary period where you can find new design parts on a 1991 pistol and older parts on a 1994 pistol.
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Old June 12, 2019, 07:05 AM   #5
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I wouldn’t hesitate to contact Don Williams on a question regarding BHP dovetai dimensions, and IMHO I’d go with Heinie sights on a BHP;

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Old June 12, 2019, 10:53 AM   #6
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This mix master phenomenon Bart describes is something I've read before. Sounds like trying to go off of a production date wouldn't be worth it. I had read something on the 1911 forums that 0.075" - 0.08" was the standard for most models, with 0.09"-0.1" being standard for Argentine copies. But idk how well that holds true.

JD, I hadn't considered Heinie, but they do have a number of options that look good. Thanks!

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